The UX of GRAVITY - FIRST PART

Oct 21 – Oct 28

Brief: Design an artefact that expresses the experiential qualities of gravity.
Partners:
Hue, Zoe, Winnie, Chun

Our assignment this week was to design an artefact that expresses gravity. Some of our first ideas were connected with birds, toddlers and skateboarders. We then drifted to the idea of how gravity is different in space and how it affects us as people, our time perception, ageing and death.

Through research, we discovered that our idea was strongly connected to Einstein’s theory of relativity. He presented the idea of a fabric that permeates through the universe called space-time that can be warped by matter and energy. This phenomenon is called time dilation. There are two forces that can affect time: the speed of motion and the gravitational force. Time moves more slowly on Earth than it does in space due to Earth’s gravitational force affecting the space-time. Because time is an ageing factor, the person under lighter gravity would experience time faster than someone living under stronger gravity. This would cause him to age faster. Similarly, the person moving faster would age more slowly. (Einstein 1920)

Behavioural Mapping.

Gravity and time exist together, therefore we thought it was important to give time just as much attention as gravity and the interplay of the two in the real world. We wanted to observe different age groups and their behaviour, which is why we chose the park as our area of observation. The younger age groups moved considerably more quickly than the older. People in the middle age group were noticeably more sedentary, and seniors even more so.

Creating the 3D map.

Following our first research method, we conducted the body storming, which is a technique of physically experiencing a situation to derive new ideas. It consisted of one of us representing gravity in the middle and the other people circling around, where each one of us represented a different age group. The ones closer to gravity were younger and therefore moving faster. The research methods helped us understand the relationship between people and gravity better.

Final 3D map.

With our 3D map, we wanted to present the movement of different age groups, the dimensions and gravity and its relation to time. I suggested that we use objects with different mass to showcase the correlation between time and gravity. The fastest object represented the oldest people as they experience time the fastest, and the lightest object was for children, who experience time the slowest.

Our conclusions were that gravity creates the time we exist in. Through aging we experience muscle deficiency and that makes us less resistant to gravity, especially in terms of our range of movement.

References

Einstein, A. (1920). Relativity: The special and general theory, by Albert Einstein. New York: Henry Holt and Company.